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Bloodhound Gang in-the-news

Bloodhound Gang rises to the top Stardom in Europe has made the jump to United States

May 9, 2000Fred Shuster
Star Tribune

It doesn't take much to set off Jimmy Pop Ali of the wacked-out rock-rap brotherhood called the Bloodhound Gang.

"I'll tell you, man, L.A. makes me seethe," Ali says of his current hometown. "Now they're trying to get us to eat horse-meat burgers. Like we're going to ever eat horse-meat burgers. I've had ostrich once, and they must've been using some real good spices 'cause it was good. Usually it's like eating rubber on a bun."

Horse-meat burgers. Rubber on a bun. Don't be surprised if the phrases turn up as titles on the next Bloodhound Gang album. Mind you, the current disc, "Hooray for Boobies," has a few zingers: "A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When the Stripper Is Crying," "The Inevitable Return of the Great White Dope" and "The Bad Touch."

The last number is better-known as "the Discovery Channel song." It's the radio and MTV smash with the unforgettable chorus: "You 'n' me baby ain't nuthin' but mammals/So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel."

In the video, shot in Paris with a cast of midgets, models and an unearthed Le Car, the Gang-sters squeeze into the worst monkey costumes in the illustrious history of dressing up in monkey suits.

"Yeah they're terrible, but they weren't cheap," Ali said with a chuckle. "You won't believe it, but those things cost $5,000 - and we had to have them specially made."

Ali had good reason to be in high spirits. The quirky quintet's second album, "Hooray for Boobies," made the Gang stars in Europe when it was released there late last year. The album is in the Top 20 in the United States, while the ultra-catchy album cut "The Bad Touch" continued its climb in the singles list.

A hit single is nothing new for the group, which will appear Saturday at the Quest in Minneapolis. The group's first single, "Fire Water Burn," from its gold-certified, Grammy-nominated debut, "One Fierce Beer Coaster," dominated modern-rock radio in 1997 with Ali's memorably deadpan delivery.

Says Ali of the group's unexpected success in Europe: "It's shocking to open magazines there and see poster inserts of `Star Wars,' Metallica and the Bloodhound Gang. We just knocked Oasis out of the No. 1 spot in Spain - it seems like people have bad taste in music all over Europe. We're as big as the Backstreet Boys there, but the difference is, we like girls. And we don't have their bad shaving habits."

Grade-school humor

The Bloodhounds, who are in their 20s, came together in the mid- '90s in their native Philadelphia, five unemployed (and probably unemployable) goofballs suffering from serious Beastie Boys damage. After "Fire Water Burn" took off, the group went from being nobodies to being nobodies appearing on TV with the likes of Howard Stern, Jenny McCarthy and Ricki Lake.

"We've always been pretty upset watching bands with equally poor musicianship making it big on radio, TV and the tour circuit," says Bloodhounds bassist Evil Jared Hasslehoff. "Our success will, hopefully, make those humorless, school-taught musicians seethe with envy and disgust when they see how many people actually like our music. We're just happy girls will talk to us now. . . . My day job fixing lawnmowers wasn't much of an aphrodisiac."

With their head-on collision of rock, hip-hop and third-grade humor, a psycho stage show that includes a cracked takeoff of an 'N Sync-style boy-group dance routine and a vocal delivery Ali describes as "a 7-year-old in a crash helmet having a temper tantrum through a Mister Microphone," the Bloodhound Gang seems like a sure thing.

"At first, I hated the whole boy-band thing, but then I realized it was keeping these guys from flipping burgers, and that's a good thing," an unusually reflective Ali said from London recently. "So, more power to them. I mean, look at the charts. It's Kid Rock, the Backstreet Boys and us. I'm amazed every day of the week to even think we have a record deal."

Bloodhound Gang

- Opening: Nerf Herder.
- When: 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
- Where: Quest, 110 N. 5th St., Minneapolis.
- Tickets: $14 to $16. All ages. 612-338-3383.
- Web site: http://www.bloodhoundgang.com.